Developing Tourist Investment [Archives:1998/25/Business & Economy]

June 22 1998

Organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in cooperation with General Investment Authority, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Yemen Times, a seminar on the ‘Future Horizons for Developing Tourist Investment in Yemen’ was held at the Chamber of Commerce on Monday 15, June.
Dr. Ahmed Salem Al-Qadhi, Vice Minister of Culture and Tourism, kicked off the seminar. He stressed the importance of developing tourist in Yemen by attracting as many tourists as possible. Concluding his speech, he highlighted the need for a long-term strategy for developing tourism in Yemen.
The first paper was presented by Mr. Hefdhallah Ali Al-Jabali, Director of Information and International Relations at the General Investment Authority. It was entitled ‘Yemeni Investment Policy and Tourist Investment.’

The second paper entitled ‘The Status of Tourist Investment in Yemen’ was presented by Mr. Abduljabar Abdullah Saeed, General Director of Development and Investment at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. He talked about the situation of tourism in Yemen now and the difficulties facing it. He also gave some data about the number of tourists visiting Yemen every year.
The third paper entitled ‘The Main Factors of Tourist Attraction and their Influence on Investment’ was presented by Mr. Mahdi Murshed Tarah, legal adviser the Chamber of Commerce. He outlined the best ways to attract tourists to Yemen.

The fourth paper entitled ‘Future Horizons of Tourist Investment’ was presented by Dr. Salah Haddash, managing editor of the Yemen Times. He indicated that political stability, putting an end to tribal conflict and kidnapping and simplifying tourist investment procedures are important for a flourishing tourism sector.
The participants discussed the above issues and many more concerning the development of tourism in Yemen.
The last speaker was Mutahar Taqi, Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism.
At the end of the seminar the participants recommended the following:
1) The necessity of reforming the judicial system and enhancing its impartiality and its ability to enforce the law to resolve disputes as quickly as possible, to protect private property, and bring kidnapers and other trouble makers to justice.
2) Specifying the role and responsibility of the civil and tribal authorities to consolidate security and stability and enforce the law.
3) Specifying the type of coordination and cooperation between the General Investment Authority and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, as the former is responsible for granting licenses to tourist investment projects. The coordination between the Ministry of Culture and other ministries and establishments on implementing investment projects and improving ways to attract tourists is to be enhanced.
4) Putting a lawful end to the process of usurping lands and sites allocated for tourism projects; and specifying some areas of the public-owned lands at the shores and islands for tourist investment projects.
5) Issuing and enacting laws to organize tourist activity such as the classification of tourist establishments and re-assessing the existing ones for improving the tourism industry in Yemen.
6) A general layout must be made, marking tourist sites and attractions.
7) The ministries and other local and central government bodies must help provide essential services like roads, airports, water, electricity, health centers, communication centers, etc.
8) Providing enough and suitable options to encourage and promote tourist investments by offering information, studies and facilities for national and foreign investors about tourist projects which will lead to:
a) Improving the current hotels and constructing new hotels, restaurants and nightclubs based on international standards.
b) Concentrating on beaches and islands making them viable tourist resort.
c) Expanding marine tourism.
d) Giving due importance to the factors which attract tourists, especially clean environment and fighting kidnapping.
e) Preserving and maintaining historical and archeological sites.
f) Training the Yemenis working in this field.
9) Simplifying loan procedures and conditions for investing in tourism and lowering interest rates for such loans.
10) Credibility and transparency with regards to dealing with procedures related to investment; more economic, administrative, legal and judicial facilities and guarantees to investments should be furnished.